A true entrepreneur and local business owner, Harmon E. Guss Jr., 58, of Bucyrus, died Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, at James Cancer Center, where he was surrounded by his family.
Harmon was born Aug. 10, 1954, in Bellevue, to the late Harmon E. Sr. and Eveleen (Joseph) Guss.
He was a 1972 graduate of Tiffin Columbian High School and also completed his firefighter certification classes. He worked as a firefighter in Tiffin for 10 years, when he also served as a volunteer firefighter. Being the entrepreneur that he was, Harmon opened Harmie's Ol' Tyme Cafe, where he worked on his days off from the fire station.
Nov. 12, 1983, he married Julie Ann Howard, who survives. They moved to Florida, where he operated a couple restaurants and managed on a district and regional level for Blockbuster and Hollywood video stores. This eventually brought him back to Bucyrus and ultimately led to him opening Gus's Grill and Grog, Over the Top Limousine Service and, most recently, Dillinger's Event Center. He was truly a workaholic and loved every minute of it as he was bettering the community he lived in. He loved serving his customers and made sure he took excellent care of his employees. At the end of each workday, Harmon always got a warm welcome home from his lapdogs, Bentley and Lennox.
Harmon had a zest for life and, in addition to work, he loved socializing and traveling with his close friends and family. There were many cruises, trips to Las Vegas as he loved playing Texas Hold 'em, and numerous weekends spent at the lake house on Indian Lake. Other interests included playing racquetball, shooting pool, woodworking and, best of all, Harmon loved making gingerbread homes with his daughters.
Harmon was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder. He was a proud board member and vice president of community development for the Bucyrus Area Chamber of Commerce and formerly served on the city of Bucyrus Planning Commission. Harmon was a member of Bucyrus Elks Lodge, Moose Lodge, VFW, AMVETS and, in his earlier years, was very active in Boy Scouts.
In addition to his wife, Julie, Harmon is survived by three daughters, Michelle Lynn Newton and husband Chad of Delaware, Ohio, Kara "Susie" Guss and special friend Ben vonBlon of Columbus and Kristin Ann Guss, also of Columbus; a soon-to-be granddaughter, Lillian Newton; two sisters, Cheryl Bland and husband Red and Shirley Guss, all of Tiffin; his mother-in-law, Judy Howard Rhode of Bucyrus; brother-in-law, Jeff Howard and fiancee Katie Elmore of Salem, Va.; sister-in-law, Amy and Steve King of Powell; and nieces and nephews Lynn Howard, Tim Howard, Sarah Gobble, Alex King, Zach King, Brian Steinhauser, Frank Steinhauser and Kimmie Kistler.
Along with his parents, Harmon is preceded in death by his father-in-law, Paul Howard, and his stepfather-in-law, James Rhode.
A memorial gathering will be 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church, where a memorial service will be conducted at 4 p.m. Sunday with the Rev. John Cory officiating. Friends may also call one hour prior to the memorial service. His cremated remains will be inurned in the church at a later date.
His family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions be given to the Humane Society serving Crawford County through Wise Funeral Service or at the church during the gathering hours. To leave an expression of sympathy or share an online memory, visit www.wisefuneral.com.